Nairobi,KENYA:Matatu owners association and other stakeholders in the sector continue to oppose the establishment of National Youth Service passenger buses which were rolled out to operate within Nairobi early this month ,saying that such initiative will get the Matatu operators out of business.
Appearing before the senate committee on roads headed by senator Kimani Wamatangi, the chair of Matatu owners Association Simon Kimutai criticized the move indicating that introduction of fare prices at a flat rate of twenty shillings set by the government will crumble the operations of the Matatu industry.
“We have to comply with regulations of National Transport and safety Authority .Earlier NTSA had closed rerouting or applications by organizations to come into business because the business is already saturated .There has been call to decongest the city but we are now congesting it.For this service to come in it is going to destroy the business “Kimutai said
Kimutai argued that Matatu do pay alot of taxes as opposed to the NYS initiative ,quizzing the suitability of the commuter buses in complying with the public service operation regulations .
But his remarks were disputed by the National Transport and Safety Authority chair Francis Mejja who applauded the government’s move to introduce the NYS commuter buses saying that mass transport across the globe has shifted from private to public and there is need for Kenya to embrace it.
He said that Kenyans are backing the governments move in introducing this facility.
Public service gender and youth affairs cabinet secretary Margret Kobia has defended the project saying that it will help the low income earners In the country.
She said that the government has rolled out 24 buses which will be operating in Kangemi ,Mwiki ,Kawangware and Kibra and the National treasury will release funds to increase other buses due next month.
“Even this charge of 20 shillings are the ones Matatu a times charge, government’s concern on citizen welfare Is for the common good ,especially this time of rain season “Kobia said
On corruption, the inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet condemned any form of corruption that has been affecting the police service especially the traffic department warning that officers and Matatu operators who will be culpable of the offence, legal action will be taken against them.
He indicated that at least 300 police officers have been charged for engaging in corrupt tendencies for the past three years.